National MPs have mixed feelings as Todd Muller takes over as leader

The 55 MPs in National's caucus hadn't seen each other - or much attention - in two months.

But they were hauled back to Parliament for an emergency meeting on Friday to decide whether to stick with their leader of two years, Simon Bridges, or go with Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, who announced a leadership coup this week.

MPs were faced with an election-defining decision after a disastrous Newshub-Reid Research poll result on Monday, which showed Bridges' popularity had plummeted and Labour was on track to win by a landslide in September.

Some flew, some drove, some strolled - one even sprinted - but National's caucus kept their cards close to their chests ahead of the meeting.

Only a few publicly declared support for a leadership candidate. Maggie Barry was behind Todd Muller, while Paul Goldsmith said he supported Simon Bridges - although that didn't last long, with the finance spokesperson opting to stand behind Muller in the end.

And Goldsmith was rewarded for the late change of heart as the only MP to keep his portfolio.

Some other heavy-hitters supported Muller: numbers man Chris Bishop, senior caucus member Gerry Brownlee and the predictably unpredictable Judith Collins - Team Bridges thought they had her, but she stood on stage with Team Todd. 

Collins said it was a "great team", though it's not clear yet whether this team will get the top jobs - and while it was a good show of support, it wasn't smiles all round in the caucus.

"Not a good day," Ian McKelvie said - although that really depends who you ask.